As evidenced on last night’s Raw, Lana continues to receive reactions greater than half of the roster. She has spent the majority of her time as a heel, and as the manager of Rusev, they became a seriously hated duo. Remember when AJ Lee spent time away from the ring to become a character in other story lines? It helped her career immensely before stepping in the ring full-time. It’s a similar path for Lana, however she has taken on a role not seen since Randy Savage mistreated Miss Elizabeth. The WWE universe cared for Lana when friction between herself and Rusev arose, which was reminiscent of the Macho Man becoming possessive over Miss Elizabeth (Also Rusev and Lana are a real-life couple, just to add to the similarities).
The fans made their voices heard as he talked down to her with sexist remarks. Praise for Rusev, as he’s a true heat magnet, and he isn’t afraid to use cheap heat. He also responds to the fans, which is different as heels tend to ignore crowd chants and continue with their promo despite the hilariously random chant. Furthermore, this split could add to his character after a harsh feud with John Cena, and WWE made the right move by pushing him away from the feud as quickly as possible.
Remember when WWE received backlash from the media after MH17 was shot down by the Russians? Lana delivered a promo the next day on Raw, and her words were twisted and taken out of context. The promo was dissected by the media, as they believed Lana meant everything she said about Americans blaming the Russians, despite Lana delivering the same script for many weeks prior. WWE released a statement informing the media that Lana’s gimmick had been on television for months, was for entertainment purposes, and any coincidences with MH17 were mere coincidences.
Was WWE right to pair Lana up with Dolph Ziggler? He has been to the glass ceiling a few times, however he’s lacked a connection with the audience (he has one, but he needs to reach another level). Could Lana encourage the fans to care for Ziggler in the same way she encouraged the fans hate for Rusev? It remains uncertain how their relationship will grow, and whether Dolph will change his character as a result; he does need to evolve his persona into something more likeable.
What did Monday Night Raw teach us? It showed us how Lana belongs to no one, and she can manage whomever she wants. I could be jumping the gun a little, but she could blossom into the greatest female manager of all time. She will need memorable moments, the crowd to remain hot for her, and clients to succeed in their careers. She has a long career ahead of her, and all of the above is possible.
Should she wrestle one day? Anything can happen in WWE, however she doesn’t need to be a wrestler to be a star. In my humble opinion, she has it all. Please provide your thoughts in the comments below.